Reading Groups

Adventure far away, laugh out loud, nourish your mind, feel understood. Then tell us all about it.

Our reading groups cultivate a community of readers and writers who discuss, appreciate, and digest the books that shape our world. Join us regularly, or pop in when the selection speaks to you.

Group Read: The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson

Join us Jan. 10 at 5 p.m. CT via Zoom for a lively discussion of The Birds of Opulence, a novel by Porch Visiting Writer Crystal Wilkinson. (Crystal will join us virtually on Jan. 16 for a class, "The Art of Radical Revision," and a reading.) The Birds of Opulence was recently chosen by the Kentucky Humanities Council as the 2021 Kentucky Reads pick, and is the winner of the Judy Gaines Young  Book Award.

"Crystal Wilkinson's Opulence, Kentucky, is small geographically and in population, but the novel's concerns are large--life, death, love, betrayal, despair, and hope. Wilkinson is a lyrical writer, and, once encountered in these pages, her characters and their stories linger in our memories long after the last page is turned. The Birds of Opulence is a novel to be read and reread." --Ron Rash, author of Serena and Above the Waterfall

Crystal Wilkinson, a Rockefeller Foundation United States Artist Fellow, is the award-winning author of The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for the John Dos Passos Award, the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from the Yaddo Foundation, Hedgebrook, The Vermont Studio Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and others. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in The Kenyon Review, STORY, Agni Literary Journal, Emergence, Oxford American and Southern Cultures.  She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky where she is Associate Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program.  
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Lit Mag League

Lit Mag League meets quarterly (and online, for now) to discuss a recent issue of a print literary magazine, often with a visit from a contributor or an editor. You can join for a single meeting; there's no extended obligation. Our conversations are juicy, and we are never without snacks. We'll announce our February 2021 pick and meeting date soon, so stay tuned!

Better Off Read

Better Off Read is our book club collab between The Porch and East Nashville’s independent bookstore, The Bookshop. We love a flew-beneath-the-radar paperback gem. Our selections are sure to surprise and delight.

Antiracist Reading Group Starter Guide

We developed a starter guide for anyone looking to organize fruitful, compassionate discussions about works of literature in an antiracist context.  

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